D.A.R.E.N. News 2017

                      DAREN of WV News May 21, 2017(.C98)
                   WA8LLM (304) 679-3470 wa8llm@yahoo.com
                        www.wc8ec.com or www.wc8ec.org

DAREN News, are articles and information about the Digital Amateur Radio "Emergency" Network of WV, which operates on 145.69 MHz.  Anyone having any information about DAREN, or Amateur Radio in general, and would like to share it with others, may send it to WA8LLM @ PKBGWV on 145.69 MHz, or to my E-Mail: wa8llm@yahoo.com.  A State Wide DAREN NET is operated every Saturday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and lately, before and after those hours.  The DAREN Net Announcement, showing the MAIN NCS, ALTERNATE NCS, NODEs accessible to both, and the previous week's check-ins, are posted by Thursday on most of the Main county DAREN PBBS'.  The DAREN News can also be found on the www.wc8ec.com and www.wc8ec.org websites.

Amateurs in the Wood County area provided the Safety Communications for the Chic-Fil-A Road Run yesterday.  The group experimented with a temporary Portable Repeater for the race.  The repeater was made up with a TYT 8000E Hand Held radio with Dual Band Cross Band repeat.  The Hand Held was set up to receive a UHF frequency and transmit on a VHF frequency.  The system seemed to work pretty good except for one Hand Held radio that had it VOX (Voice Operated Transmit) turned on and caused a lot of interference.  From the experiment we learned a few things.  We have been told the 2 Meter copper J-Pole antenna can also be used on the 440 MHz band.  From tests we had made with SWR Meters and Bidirectional Watt Meters, the antenna does show a very low SWR, and it does receive and transmit on 444 MHz, but it is NOT the best antenna to use on 440 MHz.  Using 5 Watt Hand Held radios, the transmit and receive distance is very reduced.  The maximum distance from the temporary repeater and the Hand Held radios was about 2 Miles, and there were some communication problems.  It seemed the 2 Meter copper J-Pole, when used on 440 MHz band was not much better than the Rubber Duckie antenna that came with the Hand Held radios.  We are going to do some more experiments with the Dual Band Hand Held radios and the J-Pole antenna to see how well it can be used.  When using the Dual Band Cross Band repeat function, you need some kind of Dual Band antenna, or a way to split the signals to use two antennas.

Matt Gregg, WV8MAT, sent me an E-Mail wanting to know what kind of power system that I use on my remote DAREN Packet stations.  It seems the battery and power supply for the Mason County DAREN station wasn't keeping up with the radio and TNC.  For those who may be having the same problem with their remote stations, or their home stations, using a battery and power supply, here's some food for thought.  I use one or two 25 Amp-Hour batteries on most of my DAREN remote stations with a 5 to 10 Amp Power Supply.  Even though car batteries are designed to be used to start cars and trucks that require a huge amount of current for a short period of time, they can be used as back-up batteries for home and remote stations.  The rule of thumb that I use to power a station, and keep the battery charged, is to keep the power supply voltage about .5 (1/2) Volt above the voltage of the battery.  I charge the battery up with a battery charger then let it set without a charge for a day or so.  I then measure the voltage with a digital voltmeter.  Before I connect the power supply to the battery, I adjust the voltage, coming out of the power supply, to about .5 (1/2) Volt above the battery voltage.  The power supply voltage for a battery measuring 12.5 Volts would be adjusted to 13.0 Volts.  If the power supply voltage is more then that, it will start overcharging the battery and ruin it. A cheap power supply to use is one that I described a few weeks ago in the DAREN News, using the 8 Amp power supply out of an old computer.  It was modified to be adjustable and provide from about 11 Volts to about 14 Volts.

There were only 32 check-ins to the State Wide DAREN Net this week.  There was one new station that checked into the net this week, and that was Nicolae Leu, N9LA, from Belpre, Ohio.  Nic had checked into the Local DAREN and ARES District 3 Net last week, and I had hoped he would check into the State Wide Net this week.  I want to welcome Nic to the DAREN system and hope he participates as often as possible.


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